CLOGGED RECORDING | Barbados lawyer
A local lawyer is concerned about the considerable “deadwood” that currently exists on the register of trade names in this country.
Rosalind Smith Millar, partner in charge of the intellectual property department at Clarke Gittens Farmer, said that in this regard deadwood referred to trade names that were registered, but no longer used, and therefore , they cluttered the register and prevented the registration of new trade names and brands. She explained that with overtime, these missing companies have piled up in quite a few.
She spoke about it yesterday at a virtual roundtable on IMPACT Justice model trade name registration legislation, as she described it as one of the “most frustrating things” about the current regime. registration of trade names in Barbados.
“Very often the registration of a new trade name or a new mark is refused because of the existence of a registered trade name and when a simple inquiry is made in the telephone directory, on the internet or on social networks, there is no commercial presence. for the company. In fact, you can often go and get the death certificate of the owner of the listed business. Unlike, for example, Jamaica where registration is for three-year periods and can be renewed, or Monserrat where there is an annual report, Barbados currently has no provision for routine name checks. registered commercials, ”she explained.
Smith Millar said that while there is a procedure for the Registrar of Barbados to remove an unused name from the registry, it depends on someone giving the Registrar “reasonable cause” to believe that the company or the individual does not actually carry out his activities.
She further stated that the Registrar would then have to send a notice to that person or company and wait for either no response or confirmation that the name is no longer required, after which he could remove the name from the registry. But, she noted, they don’t have to be.
“Hence the dead wood which continues to accumulate,” she argued.
The lawyer who is an expert in intellectual property law, referring to the model legislation, referred to some of the “good innovations” of this bill, including the requirement for registered business owners to file a declaration. annual and to pay a fee. She said this will let the registrar know that the registered name is still of interest to the owner. Smith Millar said that filing could be made annually, every two years or every three years, depending on the policy of the jurisdiction concerned.
“In addition to the termination of the business or the transfer of the business, a former partner of a business can now give the Registrar a notice of dissolution of the company resulting in the cancellation of the registration. This would be useful for example, when the dissolution was not amicable and the continuing partners refuse to file the change of data, ”she said.
Smith Millar continued, “And when it comes to business, this is important because of the liability that can be attached to the people whose names are still attached to the business name under the Partnership Act and the liability to the business. the public. If the Registrar now has reasonable grounds to believe that the business has ceased to operate, he or she may ask the registered owner to confirm whether or not the business is continuing or whether the registration can be canceled. And in theory, failure to file an annual return should trigger this process, so you get what can be cleared periodically. “
She further stated that the bill talks about a new feature that would restore a canceled business name within a limited time frame. (JRT)